Herzog & de Meuron

A Memorable Place in Barcelona

Every city consists of a series of diverse and specific memorable places. Barcelona is rich with them: the Barri Gòtic, Les Rambles, L’Eixample, the Avinguda Diagonal, the Sagrada FamĂ­lia, the Parc GĂĽell, the Mercat de Santa Caterina, and the Torre Agbar to name a few. And what about the Barça Stadium? At present, it remains hidden behind the University Campus, floating adrift in an urban fabric of little differentiation. The aim in renovating the Stadium must be to turn Camp Nou and its surroundings into yet another of Barcelona’s memorable places.

Barçaville and the Spokes

First and foremost, we understand that an effort should be made to give clarity to the urban configuration around the stadium. The relocation of the small stadium towards the periphery of the city offers the opportunity to plan a new neighbourhood that could be called Barçaville, connecting the University Campus and Les Corts. In our vision, a series of residential and research buildings are set within a densely planted area. The higher residential buildings are situated at the edge of the park, establishing the Barça Axis, and marking important intersections.

Another urbanistic intervention extends beyond the perimeter of the stadium, referred to as the “spokes”. We suggest planting many more trees along the different streets leading to Barçaville from all directions, as well as to enhance the lighting. With these simple means, the boulevards leading to the New Camp Nou will become easily recognizable and allow the stadium to radiate into the city.

Plaça del Barça

At the heart of the remodelled Barça neighbourhood will be a square, Plaça del Barça, which is in fact a kind of city park with a sequence of groves and open spaces that surround the stadium. The clearings are the gathering spaces for before and after the game, the largest one in the west potentially becoming the celebration square for FC Barcelona and its community of supporters.

The Basketball Stadium, Palau Blaugrana, and a series of ancillary activities such as the ticket offices, a training pitch and the bus parking, are integrated along the edge of the park.

For security measures, the park is fenced off for games but remains open during all other times. It provides new public space for Barcelona and for Les Corts, hosting events such as markets, concerts or similar activities. The current plinth around the stadium is removed, restoring the characteristic natural slope of Barcelona towards the sea; hence the Stadium and the park seamlessly connect to all surrounding streets.

A Southern Type of Stadium

The importance of FC Barcelona in the world of football calls for a stadium that is equally unique. We propose a “Southern type,” an open structure that consists of light and shadow, of colours and movement.

Deeply cantilevering slabs are clad in reflective ceramic tiles, as seen in the Catalan tradition. The floors and ceilings of the open concourses are painted in a gradation from blau to grana – and are strongly lit at night when most of the games take place so that the building projects out the colours of the Club.

The open concourses follow an undulating geometry, that in the lower levels wrap the existing 1957 structure. Because this large building stands in a fairly dense urban fabric, the undulations give a finer level of resolution than would normally be found in a stadium. On a smaller scale, the movements of the slabs are a reaction to the main vertical circulation for the general public, consisting of 24 spiralling stairs. Larger scale undulations are superimposed on the smaller ones, expressing the three main entrances and making welcoming gestures towards the main approaches thereby rooting the building in its context.

The open stadium, the Southern Type, is the antithesis of the Northern Type such as the Allianz Arena in Munich, which is enclosed and has a skin. The New Camp Nou acts towards the city like a kind of inverted theatre, where the balconies become the stage and the revelries of the crowd become the event. At the same time, spectacular views into and over the city provide another memorable dimension of the visit to Camp Nou.

The stadium’s interior encourages an intense, interactive relation between the teams and the spectators. The tiers have almost no interruptions and the roof can be visually closed with retractable shades on the underside. The bowl does not suffer from any “architectural distraction” but only enhances the concentrated support of more than 106,000 fans for their team, and the team’s concentration on the match.

All non-game program is located within the stadium, first and foremost the Barça Museum and the Barça Store on the 1st floor. The 1.5 million people who come from all over the world to visit the home of FCB every year may be guided through the stadium without interfering with the daily use of the stadium by the club or third parties. Before or after the tour, a restaurant on the 5th floor offers spectacular views, and the kiosks on the ground floor are open for meals and more informal gatherings on the square.

We also propose to locate other public functions, like a hotel and a fitness club, within the stadium. The more New Camp Nou will be used by others than “just” the FCB community, the more the Stadium can become a catalyst of activity instead of the urban void it represents today. Herzog & de Meuron, 2007






FC Barcelona
Architect Planning: Hezog & de Meuron Basel Ltd., Basel, Switzerland
Structural Engineering: ARUP, London, UK; BOMA, Barcelona, Spain
Cost Consulting: Integral SA, Barcelona, Spain
MEP Engineering: ARUP, London, UK
Specialist / Consulting
Animation: Neutral, London, UK
Facade Consulting: ARUP, London, UK
Building Physics Consulting: Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany
Climate Engineering: Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany
Environmental Strategy: Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany
Fire Protection Consulting: Francesc Labastida, Barcelona, Spain
Visualizations: Philipp Schaerer, ZĂĽrich, Switzerland
Visualizations: Christian Zöllner, Hamburg, Germany
Building Data
Site Area: 1'742'675 sqft, 161'900 sqm
Gross floor area (GFA): 2'159'851 sqft, 200'657 sqm
Number of levels: 8
Footprint: 581'788 sqft, 54'050 sqm
Length: 984 ft, 300 m
Width: 915 ft, 279 m
Height: 180 ft, 55 m
Gross volume (GV): 33'012'817 cbft, 934'818 cbm
Facade surface: 424'312 sqft, 39'420 sqm


“Concurso Nou Camp Nou, Barcelona. Herzog y de Meuron. Seleccionado.” In: Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.). “Arquitectura Viva Proyectos.” Vol. No. 022, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 2007. pp. 56-57.